Riyadh: Saudi Arabia`s interior minister
said his country had foiled 230 planned terror attacks in
recent years, with only 10 actually being carried out, local
press reported on Monday.
"Saudi Arabia is tackling terrorism with all its might
and authorities have so far been successful in foiling 230 of
the 240 terrorist attempts," the Saudi Gazette quoted Prince
Nayef bin Abdul Aziz as saying late yesterday.
Nayef, who is also second deputy prime minister, did
not specify the timeframe for the foiled attacks, but
according to an interior ministry official, the number covers
the period from 2003 to the present.
Speaking at the opening of The Saudi Moderate Approach
conference at King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah, Nayef said
extremism and terrorism were contrary to Islamic texts and
traditions, the reports said.
"Terrorism has harmed our country and because of it we
lost many of our sons," Nayef said, according to Al-Riyadh
"We have approached it in a moderate way such as
giving advice to those who have extremist thoughts to bring
them back to their senses," he said.
"This has contributed, thanks to God, in reducing the
damage of terrorism and losses in life and property."
In 2003 al Qaeda launched a series of attacks and
assassinations inside Saudi Arabia that left more than 150
people dead, including attackers, over a three year period.
Answering a question about women involved in extremist
groups, Nayef suggested the cases were very few and that the
women were being exploited by male extremists.
"Women are an important part of our society, and they
have their rights and obligations," he said, according to
However, "we will not put the blame on her, because
(extremism) takes place more among men than women. If it
happens, then she was manipulated... these are very limited
cases," he added.
Earlier this year a woman was arrested as a central
figure in an al Qaeda cell inside the country, giving rise to
worries that Saudi women were being recruited into the group
in significant numbers.
The woman, Heila al-Qusayer, was the widow of a Saudi
al Qaeda activist killed six years earlier by the authorities.
The Dubai-based news channel Al-Arabiya described
Qusayer, one of 113 suspects whose arrests were announced on
March 24, as "the most dangerous woman" in al Qaeda in Saudi